The UCL Practitioner
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
New CLRA decision
The Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Civ. Code §§1750 et seq.) is the UCL's poor step-sister. The two Acts prohibit much the same conduct when it comes to false advertising, but the UCL is invoked far more often. Cases interpreting the CLRA rarely come down, so the Act can't really support its own blog, but I will try to mention new CLRA decisions when I see them. Yesterday, in Corbett v. Hayward Dodge, Inc., ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Jun. 22, 2004), the Court of Appeal interpreted the CLRA's attorney's fees provision for the first time. Civil Code section 1780(d) authorizes attorney's fees awards to prevailing plaintiffs, then states that "[r]easonable attorney's fees may be awarded to a prevailing defendant upon a finding by the court that the plaintiff's prosecution of the action was not in good faith" (emphasis added). In Corbett, the Court of Appeal held that the defendant bears the burden of proving the plaintiff's subjective bad faith, and that just because the plaintiff lost the case doesn't mean he or she filed it in bad faith.

Incidentally, the dispute between Mr. Corbett and Hayward Dodge also resulted in Corbett v. Superior Court, 101 Cal.App.4th 649 (2002), in which the Court of Appeal held that UCL claims may be certified for class treatment so long as they satisfy the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 382. Evidently, on remand the UCL and CLRA claims were both defeated on the merits, triggering the defendant's attorney's fees motion under the CLRA.
Comments: Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger

© 2003-2005 by Kimberly A. Kralowec